Romanian prime minister survives no-confidence vote

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta survives no-confidence vote in parliament over corruption allegations

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta

A week after going on trial for corruption charges, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta survived a vote of no confidence on Tuesday in the country's parliament.

The main opposition National Liberal Party didn't gain the 275 votes needed to remove the prime minister, while the three parties in Ponta's coalition abstained.

With eight opposing, two hundred and seven parliamentarians voted for the motion.

A ruling party lawmaker said,"The opposition motion didn't pass. No ruling party deputy has cast a vote,"  "The censure vote failed. We all abstained," a ruling party senator said.

Despite the allegations, Ponta has repeatedly rejected calls to resign and vowed to serve out his term till its expiration at the end of 2016.

The result of Tuesday's motion shows the outlook for investors is unlikely to change in the short term because Ponta is now available to run his programme of public sector wage increases and tax cuts.

Ponta has rejected several accusations of tax evasion, money laundering, conflict of interest and making false statements while he was working as a lawyer in 2007 and 2008.

Romania is regarded as one of Europe's most corrupt countries, several senior politicians, officials and businessmen have faced trial.

Ponta's resignation has been called for by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, who said his refusal to resign has undermined Romania's anti-corruption drive while Ponta claims Romania's economy has recovered during his prime ministry and his dismissal would cause political instability.

Ponta became the prime minister of Romania in 2012.

TRTWorld and agencies